Final bids for German drugmaker Stada expected Friday: sources

The logo of the pharmaceutical company Stada Arzneimittel AG is pictured at its headquarters in Bad Vilbel near Frankfurt March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The battle for German drugmaker Stada STAGn.DE is edging towards a close, with final offers from two private equity consortia expected on Friday evening, three people close to the matter said.

A tie-up of buyout firms Advent and Permira is bidding against Bain and Cinven. Both have so far made takeover offers at 58 euros per share, valuing the company at 4.7 billion euros including debt.

Neither is expected to hike its offer dramatically, though a slight increase is likely, one of the sources said.

“(Stada’s chairman Karl-Ferdinand) Oetker needs a face-saving top-up, but the business case does not allow for much,” another person close to one of the bidders said.

Another source said that Stada’s executive and supervisory boards were unlikely to recommend that shareholders accept any offer that was not improved further, after the company last month lifted its targets and told suitors their bids were too low.

Stada, which is expected to make a decision on the bids by the middle of next week, declined to comment on the timing of the deal, saying only that the sales process was progressing according to plan.

The private equity groups declined to comment.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Alexander Hübner and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan